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Forensic psychologists practice forensic psychology
Forensic psychologists may hold a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology, Social psychology, Organizational psychology, or Experimental psychology. In the United States, in order for a psychologist to practice in forensic psychology, it is preferable but not necessary that the individual be a state licensed psychologist and receive certification as a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology by the American Board of Forensic Psychology (although the latter is less important to judges). Ideally, the psychologist would have some years of postdoctoral experience, training and supervisionin forensic psychology. However, practices vary from state to state and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In the United States legal system, the ultimate authority is the judge and the judge may select whomever he or she sees fit to qualify as an expert.
In other countries, training and practitioner requirements vary. In the United Kingdom, for example, a person must obtain the Graduate Basis for Registration with the British Psychological Society--normally through an undergraduate degree. This would be followed by Stages 1 (academic) and 2 (supervised practice) of the Diploma in Forensic Psychology (which would normally take 3 years full time and 4 years part time). Assessment occurs via examination, research, supervised practice, and the submission of a portfolio showing expertise across a range of criminological and legal applications of psychology. Once qualified as a "Chartered" psychologist (with a specialism in forensic psychology), a practitioner must engage in Continued Professional Development and demonstrate how much, of what kind, each year, in order to renew his/her practising certificate.